The IRS reports a growing number of aggressive IRS scams that tax payers have received through email and phone calls. Commerce National Bank joins the IRS in reminding you to stay vigilant and protect yourself.
The IRS outlines the common tactics that scammers use:
- Scare tactics. These aggressive and sophisticated scams try to scare people into making a false tax payment. Many phone scams use threats to try to intimidate you and may also leave “urgent” callback requests, sometimes through automated email lists or phone calls (“robo-calls”). The emails will often contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for you to reply;
- Caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use online resources to get your name, address, and other details about your life to make the call sound official; and
- Phishing email and regular mail. Scammers copy and use official IRS letterhead in email or regular mail they send to victims, in an attempt to make the scam look official.
The IRS will not:
- Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail;
- Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount that you owe;
- Require that you pay owed taxes with a specific form of payment;
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
- Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
The IRS provides the following tips to avoid being a victim:
- Do not provide any information to the caller. Hang up immediately;
- Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page to report the incident; and
- Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
If you have unresolved tax debt, please call the IRS at 800-829-1040 for assistance. These scams are highly profitable to these criminals; the IRS reports nearly 4,550 victims who have collectively reported over $23 million in financial losses as a result of tax scams over the past two years.